An ISIS propaganda video gives a shocking example of just how tough the human skull can be even against rifle bullets.
The undated propaganda footage shows a ISIS sniper (above) taking aim with a 7.62x54R sniper rifle (either a SVD or the similar Iraqi Al-Kadesih).
He manages to line up a good shot on one of two careless Iraqi militiamen unwisely walking on the crest of a hill in disputed territory, presses off a shot, and the tracer round comes screaming in (above).
Instead of turning the militiaman’s head into a pink mist, however, the tracer round ricochets up…
… and away (above) as the militiaman amazingly stands there in one piece.
He takes a step forward, then doubles over if experiencing a sudden migraine (which he clearly may be feeling at the moment), and stands there, motionless for several seconds.
The understandably surprised ISIS sniper then fires off another tracer round that flies high.
The intended victim then stumbled forward and apparently out of the sniper’s range into cover, still very much under his own power.
This is a good example of reason that good firearms trainers tell people to focus on the ocular cavity formed by the outside of the eyes and bottom of the nose if they must fire a headshot.
If a 7.62x54R round—roughly analogous with the .30-’06—cannot reliably stop a human with a shot to the head outside of the ocular triangle, odds are that our much lower-powered handgun cartridges moving more than a thousand feet-per-second slower are even more likely to ricochet or deviate off of hard, curved bone.